In the shadows of more well-known and ‘fashionable’ battery chemistries flywheel technology is beginning to shine in large-scale renewable energy storage systems (ESS).
Firstly, US start-up Amber Kinetics is testing its flywheel’s ability to integrate with renewables in pilot schemes in the Philippines and Hawaii.
In the Philippines, the US ESS developer has installed a 6.25/25kWh flywheel, in collaboration with independent power producer Emerging Power.
The pair have also signed a memorandum of understanding for a 10MW/40MWh flywheel ESS— if the pilot proves a success.
Testing is also underway in Hawaii of the company’s Amber Gen2© Model 25 steel flywheel system in a joint project with Hawaiian Electric Company.
The US state has an ambitious 100% renewable energy goal to hit by 2045.
“Energy storage is essential to reach a 100% renewable energy future, optimising the use of Hawai’i’s abundant but variable solar and wind energy,” said Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric vice president for corporate planning and business development.
Hawaiian Electric is also collaborating with other firms to test a range of energy storage technologies.
Amber Kinetics largest deal so far was for 20MW of flywheel energy storage with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Installation is due to start in 2019, with the system fully operational the following year.
Meanwhile energy utility EDF and German flywheel firm Stornetic launched a joint smart grid storage project in France.
The pair aim to develop a way to address the impact of variable renewable energy on the grid.
Stornetic will deliver its DuraStor flywheel for the ESS by June 2017, which will then be installed at EDF’s concept grid site near Paris at Moret-sur-Loing.
The Concept Grid laboratory is a smart grid test facility comprising of 10km of networks dedicated to the proving the worth of new systems.
It will allow manufacturers, start-ups and academics to understand real field environments, and help utilities prepare and de-risk experimentations through test campaigns that would be impossible to conduct on the field.
EDF’s R&D Renewables and Storage Program Director Etienne Brière said: “We believe that energy storage solutions will play a key role in the upcoming transformations of the electrical systems.”